There is a certain kind of precious beauty in solitude.
The leaf, brown and tired, that fell from the tree at that moment before Alison’s eyes was not a special leaf. It was an ordinary leaf like any other. The moment of its falling though was special to Alison because she was the only one to see it. In this park, on this bench, now and not at any other time, something changed in the world and she was the only one to see. In all of the history of the past and all the time that would follow Alison’s memory of this falling leaf would be unique.
The leaf touched down. It rested on a carpet of many other leaves, similar but not the same. In time it would be warmed and cooled and wetted and dried. In time it would become a part of something else, not of a tree this time, but of the forest floor. It could feed the tree from where it had come. It could feed an insect that could be eaten by one larger and become a part of all life.
It could but it did not.
In a moment in which a human and a leaf came together to share whatever destiny may be, Alison bent down and lifted the leaf from its bed. She opened the book she had been reading and placed the leaf, with love, between the pages, to go with her until the book was read then to live a very different life from that which it would have had, on a shelf in a room, among other books, some with leaves sleeping inside, most without.
Years from now when her hair has turned to white or to grey, when her days of sitting in cold parks have given way to staying in warm rooms when the weather has turned, Alison may open this book and find the leaf sleeping among the old and yellowed pages, and remember the day, long ago, when she and this precious, ordinary, leaf shared a moment that no one else could ever share. Theirs alone for all of time.
~ ^-^ ~
Despite this being a tiny story I feel that it is complete. It’s more of a feeling, a moment. It took a very short time to write but after reading it back and with no editing, I felt warm inside. Some small pieces feel as if they are a part of something bigger; this does not. I think I’ll leave it just like it is. What do you think?
~ ^-^ ~
The ‘Autumn park’ photo was used courtesy of Olga Machkova at http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=profile&l=olvina. Thank you, Olga.